receives compensation from some of the companies listed on this page. Advertising Disclosure


12 Best Systems for Speeding Up Product Development

Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber

The last thing you need when developing a new product or service is a system slowing you down in the process. That's why we asked 12 Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC) founders about their favorite systems for keeping product development milestones on track. Here's what they had to say:

1. Trello

My recent discovery of Trello was akin to discovering a hidden treasure at the bottom of the sea. It has rapidly increased my product development cycle by making it easy to see all of its moving parts. The system is made up of three simple components -- boards, lists and cards. I personally have a "Master Idea Board," which overarches all other projects I work on. Also, Trello is free. Tweet This System

- Lawrence Watkins, Great Black Speakers

2. One Problem, One Solution 

This means you don't have to provide someone with 50 solutions to one problem or all the features right away. Instead, give them the most powerful solution. It makes the development time much shorter for you, and it makes implementation much more focused and effective for the customer. Focus the product. Tweet This System - Dave Nevogt,

3. Phone Calls

There's no doubt that collaboration tools have helped product management and execution, but we've seen it actually hamper fast product development. Going back to basics with calls twice a week has helped recreate accountability in real time and flush out bugs that require talent from different disciplines of the development team. Tweet This System - Andrew Thomas, SkyBell Technologies, Inc.

4. Minimum Viable Product

Learning and iterating quickly based on direct customer feedback saves time and costs when building a new product or service. Tweet This System - Andrew Fayad, eLearning Mind

Related: Fast, Good, or Cheap. Pick Three?

5. Scrum

When developing new products or services, requirements often change during the process. Traditional sequential methods of approaching development tend to fail during these circumstances. Scrum focuses to deliver quickly and respond to emerging requirements as a self-organizing team. Tweet This System - Phil Chen, Givit

6. Ideation

Maintain an open dialog with your core leadership team. Think about priorities, resources and opportunities as an evolving negotiation. We're always talking and ideating. It's a fluid and iterative process that never stagnates. Tweet This System - Luke Skurman,

7. Noise Obliteration

What can I launch in two weeks? The answer to that question gets rid of all the noise in a potential product. Tweet This System - Rameet Chawla, Fueled

8. Marvel

Marvel is an amazing tool for prototyping and testing new products and services. It's a free service that allows you to create interactive prototypes with static images. This saves an unbelievable amount of time. Tweet This System - Adam Lieb, Duxter

9. One Owner

When we launch a new product, the most important step to launching effectively is putting one person in charge of managing the project and the launch. Whenever we've had an idea that has multiple owners, we've struggled to make it successful. Having one person accountable is key! Tweet This System - Sarah Schupp, UniversityParent

10. User Feedback

Quantitative data can do a great job of telling us what is happening, but it can also fall short on explaining why it is happening. Relying on data alone can mask client frustrations. Even though we are data-driven company, we still rely on the time-honored tactic of asking our customers what they think. It's still the cheapest, fastest and best way to get to the root of what is and isn't working. Tweet This System - Robert J. Moore, RJMetrics

11. Friendly Argumentation

No development of new products can happen without some friendly argumentation. The best way to develop an idea quickly is to argue it out with your executive team. Tweet This System - Michael Seiman, CPXi

12. Active Listening

The hardest discipline to master while developing is stopping and actively listening to not only your customers and clients, but also your internal team. Intense focusing is great; having blinders on going 80 mph is not. Listening and building a new feature your customers want the first time will allow fewer mistakes, better results and an increase in efficiency and effectiveness in the long run. Tweet This System - Kim Kaupe, ZinePak

(Image via

Image Credit: Monkeybusinessimages / Getty Images
Scott Gerber
Scott Gerber Member
Scott Gerber is the founder of Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC), an invite-only organization comprised of the world’s most promising young entrepreneurs. In partnership with Citi, YEC recently launched BusinessCollective, a free virtual mentorship program that helps millions of entrepreneurs start and grow businesses. Gerber is also a serial entrepreneur, regular TV commentator and author of the book Never Get a “Real” Job.